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rodgers is buoyed by display

Brendan Rodgers believes Liverpool are "slowly getting there" after they put their recent misery behind them to beat Bournemouth and seal their place in the semi-final of the Capital One Cup.

Having watched his side exit the Champions League, Rodgers saw them lose 3-0 to Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday, failing to get on the scoresheet largely thanks to David de Gea's brilliance.

But Rodgers' new system with two-goal Raheem Sterling as a false nine, flanked by the creative talents of Philippe Coutinho, Adam Lallana and Lazar Markovic, who opened his Liverpool account, proved too much for Championship leaders Bournemouth last night.

rewarded

Having been criticised in many quarters for packing his side to face Basle with too many central midfielders Rodgers has turned to his playmakers and been rewarded.

The four showed bundles of attacking flair and quality in the opening hour as Liverpool ran out 3-1 winners in their League Cup quarter-final to convince their manager that his team are on the right track again.

"That was as good as I've seen from us this season," he said.

"Slowly we are getting there, I've said that my teams have shown at Liverpool that we get better and better.

"A lot of players are adapting, you see Markovic out there and he put in an outstanding performance.

"I've been looking to find ways and solutions to make us more creative as we haven't been that at all this season and that is the mark of the team."

Sterling's close-range opener came at the end of a 52-pass move, and Rodgers said he knew his side would need to keep possession if they were to strike first in a bid to end Bournemouth's 12-game unbeaten run.

"It was brilliant," he said. "We work very hard on our possession, movement and creativity and it has taken us a long time for us to find rhythm this season but what has never stopped is the work rate of the players.

"It took character and quality to get through.

"It doesn't matter if it is from one pass or 52 but the moment of the game did require patience."

The semi-final draw pits Liverpool against Chelsea and the two sides will do battle over two legs in 2015 in a repeat of the 2005 final.

Rodgers added: "If you want to win the competition, and that is our objective, then we've got to beat the best teams.

"It is over two legs and we will really relish that opportunity."

Dejan Lovren was forced off at the break with a groin injury and Rodgers says the defender will be assessed before the weekend's clash with Arsenal.

defeat

For Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe, the focus returns to the league and the former Burnley manager hopes the defeat will not derail his Cherries' wonderful campaign, which has seen them fly to the top of the second tier.

"I think it is very important that we use this as a positive," he said.

"Yes we went out but we showed our quality in the second half and that we can create chances against a very good team."


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